June 9, 2007

Philosopher Richard Rorty, RIP

My favorite Rorty quote is from his November 1999 Atlantic Monthly article "Phony Science Wars:"

"... 'the homosexual,' 'the Negro,' and 'the female' are best seen not as inevitable classifications of human beings but rather as inventions that have done more harm than good."

I've often reflected since then on how "the female" is not an inevitable classification of human beings. I mean, who are you going to believe? A famous philosopher or your lying eyes?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 8, 2007

"Immigration Bill Sponsors Vow to Press On"

claims the NYT:

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter our enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 7, 2007

We win, they lose

We win, they lose: Today's second and most crucial cloture vote in the Senate to ramrod through the Kennedy-Bush amnesty bill not only failed to get the required 60 votes, it lost outright, 45-50! It's not quite dead, but it's comatose.

GOP Senators voted 7-38 against cloture, Democrats 38-12 for. Republicans voting for cloture (i.e., for the bill) were Graham, Hagel, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, Specter, and Voinovich.

Last year, an even worse bill passed the Senate 62-36. And since then, the Democrats took control of the Senate. So, we are making sizable progress in mobilizing public opinion.

Thank God for the Internet and talk radio. Back on Monday, the Washington Post tried to sleaze the Kennedy-Bush bill through by running a wholly biased frontpage article in order to whip up a false sense of momentum:

Backers of Immigration Bill More Optimistic
Lawmakers Cite Sense of Urgency
By Jonathan Weisman Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, June 4, 2007; Page A01

After a week at home with their constituents, the Senate architects of a delicate immigration compromise are increasingly convinced that they will hold together this week to pass an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, with momentum building behind one unifying theme: Today's immigration system is too broken to go unaddressed.

Funny how they didn't cite any opponents of amnesty in the article agreeing with its contention ... That the public was telling the Senate that this bill would make the system worse was not for Washington to hear.

Tonight, the Washington Post is beside itself that the public shot down its plan to push through an enormous amnesty bill concocted in Senator Kennedy's Red Bull-filled room without even holding hearings. Dan Balz, a Washington Post "reporter," spins madly:

But to those far removed from the backrooms of Capitol Hill, what happened will fuel cynicism toward a political system that appears incapable of finding ways to resolve the nation's big challenges.

If Washington cannot produce a solution to the glaring problem of immigration, they will ask, what hope is there for progress on health care, energy independence, or the financial challenges facing Medicare and Social Security? Iraq is another matter entirely.

Voters wanted an immigration deal, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) acknowledged as he pulled the measure after 9 last night: "The problem was on the inside of this Senate chamber."

Isn't it about time that the Washington Post fire their pollsters and hire somebody (e.g., Scott Rasmussen) who won't rig the questions to provide the answers the Establishment wants to hear?

The collective failure of the two parties already appears to have stimulated interest in a third-party candidate for president in 2008 whose main promise would be to make Washington work. It is far too early to assess the viability of such a candidate, but it is easy to imagine the immigration impasse finding its way into a television commercial if someone such as New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg decides to run.

Is there a better example of the reality distortion field that surrounds Washington than this? The public just punched through the bubble and told the crowned heads of Washington that they can't have their amnesty ... and this insider thinks that's a good omen for billionaire Bloomberg to run on a third party ticket on a pro-amnesty platform! Here's a way Bloomberg can simultaneously save a billion dollars in campaign spending and avoid humiliation: don't.

Now, having (apparently) dodged this bullet, we've got to actually accomplish something ...


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Civil Service exams

I want to look into why government doesn't seem to work very well anymore. I was wondering if anybody had experience over several decades with civil service exams and how they've changed, either federal or local.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Immigration Inanity, Cont.

Here's another excerpt from my new American Conservative article (not online yet) on why elite thinking about immigration is so vapid:

- It is unfashionable to admit publicly the existence of group statistical differences. The endless campaign in American society against stereotypes has reached the point that simple acts of pattern recognition are in disrepute and demand reflexive debunking by citation of whatever contrary example is available. "Any exception disproves the tendency" appears to be the rule.

- The media's dislike of reporting on averages is exacerbated by its love for man-bites-dog stories. The illegal immigrant who graduates from Cal Tech is news because it's new: it doesn't happen very often. In contrast, the consistently dismal performance of Latino students on average -- by twelfth grade, immigrants are five to six grade levels behind Anglo whites, while even American-born Hispanics trail by three to four grade levels -- isn't news because it's boring and depressing.

- Among the privileged, if a tree falls in the forest but it's not reported in the New York Times, it never happened. For example, the best estimate is that the Latino crime rate is roughly triple the Anglo white rate, which would not come as much of a surprise to anybody who doesn't live in a cave. Yet, because the major media won't note differences in mean crime rates by ethnicity, this fact is considered outside the limits of acceptable discussion of immigration. ...

- That the chief supporters of "comprehensive immigration reformer" -- the White House, corporate America, Democratic Party chieftains, the Catholic Church, race racketeers (such as the National Council of La Raza), the educartel, and big media -- represent more or less what a Sixties radical would have decried as The Establishment does not raise doubts in the minds of contemporary wordsmiths. God may not always be on the side of the big battalions, but public intellectuals are these days. ...

- Open borders enthusiasm often reflects covert hostility toward African-Americans. Hispanic illegal immigrants are slowly pushing African Americans out of the most expensive cities, such as New York, which has been losing American-born blacks since 1979. And, let's be frank, many affluent whites are happy to see African-Americans go. The Latino influx can create a temporary dip in the crime rate. Illegal immigrants generally arrive at too mature an age to get involved in youth street gangs -- but their sons, who grow up feeling territorial about their means streets, flock to gangs. ...

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Momentum shift on Kennedy-Bush bill?

Don't look to me for inside baseball on the Senate immigration vote, but I did notice that Ted Kennedy's Red Bull-Filled Room Gang room finally suffered a defeat early Thursday morning on an amendment they cared about deeply:

Immigration bill inches forward
Senate amendment could jeopardize deal
By Karoun Demirjian Washington Bureau Published June 7, 2007

WASHINGTON — The Senate's approval of an amendment to review and possibly terminate a central feature of the fragile immigration bill in the wee hours of Thursday morning may have critically jeopardized the measure as it enters final days of consideration.

The third time proved to be the charm for Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who introduced a twice-revamped proposal to mandate a five-year review and potential termination of the temporary guest worker program that would allow immigrants to obtain special "Y-1" visas to work in the U.S. for three separate two-year intervals. Though earlier versions of the amendment had failed, the Senate voted 49-48 to keep it in after several senators changed their positions from previous votes on the issue.

The temporary guest worker program is a controversial but key feature of the compromise legislation for many of the bill's supporters, including President Bush.

Supporters of the bill claimed victory not only over the temporary worker program, but over the bill's entire process.

"No one has the right to meet in secret with special-interest groups and write a bill and ram it down the throats of the United States Senate," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a critic of the bill who voted to kill the guest worker program. "I hope today people begin to see that a small group of senators … don't have the power to say we can't have an amendment and we can't change it."

Throughout Wednesday night, the Senate appeared to be moving closer to approval of the measure, as other deal-breaking amendments were rejected one by one. After several close votes, few significant changes had been approved.

But there were signs that the coalition's unanimity was weakening as votes continued early Thursday morning. Democrats who joined the compromise legislation supported their party colleagues on a series of votes on family reunification amendments, while Georgia Republicans Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss joined their conservative colleagues on controversial proposals that would make it tougher for illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S.

But the core bipartisan coalition of 10 senators who drafted the compromise hung together as a body to oppose the Dorgan amendment, and through many other difficult votes, knowing that if some of the amendments offered by the bill's most vocal critics were approved, that could spell defeat for the overall measure.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) ratcheted up the pressure for passage by announcing the Senate would vote Thursday on a motion to limit debate to 30 additional hours.

Reid presented the move as a challenge to senators, especially Republicans, who he said were trying to delay and debate the bill to death. Republicans cried foul, complaining that they had not had sufficient time to offer amendments.

"I am counting progress on this bill not by calendar days … but by the ability of senators to debate and to vote on their respective ideas," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The Senate did approve amendments Wednesday to prevent immigrants from claiming earned income tax credits until they have obtained green cards ...

Well, that's reassuring ...

and to permit law-enforcement agencies to access the application materials of immigrants who are denied Z visa status, which would put the 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. on the path to citizenship. The Z visa would be a new class of four-year visas that immigrants already in the country would have to purchase.

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) criticized the Z visa amendment by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), calling it a "report to deport" provision that might lead many immigrants to opt out of the new program. Kennedy is expected to take steps to counteract the measure as debate continues.

I bet he will!

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Heather Mac Donald in City Journal

The Republicans’ Hispanic Delusion
Amnesty is not just wrong in principle, it’s bad politics.

Even Republican Hispanics are not particularly conservative on economic issues. A 2002 poll by the Pew and Kaiser foundations found that 52 percent of registered Latino Republicans supported a higher-taxing, larger state sector, a higher percentage for big government than one finds among white Democrats, reports Steve Sailer. As for the majority of Latinos—poor and poorly-educated—the more government services, the better. Mexican consulates across the country are busily signing up illegal Mexicans for all the free government-funded health care that the consulates can find—that would be American- not Mexican-funded health care, mind you. “We have the right to health services,” an illegal Mexican in Santa Clarita, California, told the Los Angeles Times. [More]

There are also several second-order effects of immigration pushing whites to the left. I'm sure you've heard about how "unaffordable family formation" due to bad public schools and high home prices makes whites less likely to get married and have children.

There's also the Chicagoization effect, which almost wrecked Arnold Schwarzenegger's political career in California. I wrote in VDARE.com:

As I wrote last year:

"After getting off to a strong start, including repealing illegals’ licenses as promised, Schwarzenegger stumbled badly in 2005 by not realizing that his slate of initiatives to undermine the power of the public employees unions were perceived by his natural base, the white lower-middle class, as an assault on their survival in California’s outlandishly expensive housing market . Firemen, cops, nurses , and teachers … rallied support from their neighbors, who saw their union perks not as sinecures but as life preservers." [New Republican Majority? The American Conservative, May 8, 2006].

Schwarzenegger, who is nothing if not a quick learner, promptly switched in 2006 from traditional small government conservatism to something resembling the tax-and-spend semi-conservatism that the Daley dynasty has honed in winning eleven out of twelve elections in Chicago.

In the Windy City, an economically inegalitarian city with both wealthy corporations and vast numbers of poor people, the white lower middle class has survived in large part by getting government jobs providing services to the poor. Barry Goldwater wouldn't have approved. But the Daley strategy has kept Chicago a far more livable city than, say, Detroit. And something like that is probably the best California can hope for at this point.

Finally, there's the impact of more diversity on the quality of public discourse. As you've witnessed over the last few weeks, most of the pro-mass immigrationists don't know a damn thing about the topic -- but they do know what you are allowed to say these days and what you aren't. And numbers count in determining what is and what isn't acceptable. It's not that illegal immigrants or their offspring play a big role in the media -- they definitely don't. It's that their sheer numbers justify the subsidization of race racketeers to ceaselessly search for signs of prejudice (i.e., statistical thinking) to denounce, which then brings the status-striving whites into the wolfpack to hunt down dissidents, too.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 6, 2007

For Clash obsessives

Excerpts from Chris Knowles' book Clash City Showdown provides the analytic orientation missing from the new and extremely long and detailed Joe Strummer biography. Knowles makes sense of The Breakup (the punk equivalent of Lennon and McCartney breaking up): In the early 1980s, Mick Jones wanted to go forward into hip-hop, while Joe Strummer wanted to go back into roots rock and the like. The irony is that rap would have suited Joe well, with his lyrical and rhythmic strengths. He just preferred real music over what my nonagenarian father calls "yap music."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Bush also ignoring Mötley Crüe among Asian-Pacific Islanders: Fox reports:

Obama Says Bush Ignoring 'Quiet Riot' Among Blacks

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 5, 2007

Does education make people stupid?

Well, writing about education sure seems to bring out the vapid and credulous in media folks.

Sailer's Law of Triviality says there is an inverse correlation between the importance of a topic and the quality of public discourse about it. Thus, baseball statistics elicit superb analyses while coverage of immigration and education, perhaps the two most important domestic issues for the future of America, is mired in sentimentality, wishful thinking, and anti-empiricism.

For example, the Washington Post trumpets:

Scores Up Since 'No Child' Was Signed
Study's Authors Unsure Whether to Credit Law for Gains
By Amit R. Paley, Washington Post Staff Writer

The nation's students have performed significantly better on state reading and math tests since President Bush signed his landmark education initiative into law five years ago, according to a major independent study released yesterday.

The study's authors warned that it is difficult to say whether or how much the No Child Left Behind law is driving the achievement gains. But Republican and Democratic supporters of the law said the findings indicate that it has been a success. Some said the findings bolster the odds that Congress will renew the controversial law this year. ...

The report, which experts called the most comprehensive analysis of test data from all 50 states since 2002, concluded that the achievement gap between black and white students is shrinking in many states and that the pace of student gains increased after the law was enacted. ... The law requires all public school students to be tested in reading and math every year from grades 3 through 8 and once in high school, and it prescribes a series of sanctions on schools that do not make adequate progress. States and the District are allowed to design their own tests and set their own standards.

In similar news, the Kansas City Royals baseball team announced that their record so far this year was 57-1 with a staff ERA of 0.22. And the management of iSteve.com reported today that readership of iSteve.com in May 2007 was 8.7 quadrillion pages served, with an average quality rating by readers of "ineffably exquisite."

Is the concept of "conflict of interest" really that exotic that the Washington Post hasn't yet noticed that it was built into the NCLB? The federal government says it will withhold oodles of money from states that don't report making progress, while telling the states to go grade themselves on tests of their own devising.

The results are predictable.

The New York Times, at least, has the sense to report that these lovely results from state tests are contradicted by the results on the disinterested federal test. Sam Dillon writes:

The study also acknowledged that the increases in achievement recorded by many state tests had not been matched by results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, nationwide reading and math tests administered by the federal Department of Education.

Those results have been mixed. For example, on the national tests given in 2005, fourth-grade math scores showed an important increase over the previous test administration in 2003, and eighth-grade math scores rose slightly. But fourth-grade reading scores were the same on the nationwide test in 2005 as in 2002, and eighth-grade reading scores declined.

No mention is made in either article of the utterly impossibility of the NCLB's mandate that 100% of students are "proficient" (i.e., above average) by 2014.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Welcome to The Future

When I was a small child, I was really looking forward to The Future: flying cars, jumpsuits with diagonal zippers, the whole bit. I envied a friend's little sister because she would grow up in a more futuristic world than I would. I was very excited when dumpy old 1965 turned into sleek new 1966 -- which, you have to admit, featured a particularly futuristic looking set of numbers.

Funny, though, how the future keeps turning out like the past, only dumberer. For example, the LA Times illustrates the future of urban politics in America with a story about the LA suburb of Lynwood:

Racial shift plays out in Lynwood politics
As African Americans lose numbers and influence to Latinos, the friction can be felt at City Hall and beyond.
By John L. Mitchell, Times Staff Writer June 5, 2007

For years, the battle for control of the city of Lynwood has been shrouded in accusations of political corruption and cronyism.

A former mayor is serving a 16-year sentence in federal prison for embezzlement. Five current and former City Council members have been charged with padding their salaries with public funds. And an effort is underway to recall four of the five current City Council members.

But beyond the allegations of graft and corruption, a different war — rife with racial and ethnic stereotyping — is being waged in the working-class city south of Los Angeles.

Latinos, who make up more than 80% of the city's 72,000 residents, are vying for power with African Americans, who, despite smaller numbers, maintain considerable influence by virtue of superior voter strength in a city where 40% of the residents are foreign-born.

A decade ago, when blacks controlled the city's political landscape, Latinos complained that they were being denied city jobs and lucrative municipal contracts. Now Latinos dominate and African Americans complain of being frozen out.

The problem is emblematic of emerging tensions throughout Los Angeles County, where the Latino population has surged as African American numbers have dwindled.

The tensions are playing out in cities such as Carson, Compton and Inglewood, where traditional black political muscle — concentrated largely among older working- and middle-class homeowners — is showing signs of weakening as a generation of Latinos reaches voting age. Tensions are also playing out in the race to succeed Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, where the competition between two well-positioned African American candidates may result in their canceling each other out, paving the way for a Latina to capture a seat blacks have held for decades.

The black-Latino friction in a city such as Lynwood is exacerbated by a lack of resources and decent jobs and by poverty — all problems common to both groups, said Harry Pachon, a USC professor and head of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, which released a report in April titled "Beyond the Racial Divide: Perceptions of Minority Residents on Coalition Building in South Los Angeles."

One conclusion, he said, was telling.

"Each group is buying off on the negative stereotypes held by the majority [white culture], rather than questioning them," Pachon said. "Blacks say that Latinos don't take care of their housing, and Latinos felt that blacks don't value families as much."

In Lynwood, some of the strongest evidence of stereotyping can be found on Lynwood Watch ( lynwoodwatch.blogspot.com ), a website created by an anonymous blogger to keep watch on city officials. The blog encourages readers to voice their opinions, and they do. But many of the comments are laced with calls for Latino unity that include racist rants — in English and Spanish — directed at African Americans.

White people have such amazing voodoo powers! White people don't even live in Lynwood, and yet they are still hexing minorities by remote control from over the horizon into not seeing each other as they really are -- rocket scientists and philanthropists, every one of them. Instead, evil white people are hypnotizing the black and brown residents of Lynwood into believing their lying eyes about their neighbors instead of believing what they are supposed to believe.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Department of I'm-Not-Making-It-Up

From the Forward:

Shrine of False Messiah in Turkey May Be Razed
Jay Michaelson | Fri. May 18, 2007

Far away from the eyes of the Jewish mainstream, in modern-day Turkey there live hundreds, if not thousands, of crypto-Jews — and today, one of their most sacred shrines is in danger. Article tools

This is the hidden, fascinating tale of the doenmeh, descendants of the faithful followers of the 17th-century false messiah Sabbetai Tzvi, who converted to Islam in 1666. Tzvi’s own conversion came under duress: The Ottoman sultan demanded that he don the turban or die after nearly one-third of European Jewry had come to believe he was the messiah and had begun swarming into Turkey, expecting the long-awaited triumph of the Jews.

Tzvi chose to convert, and most of his followers lost hope — but not all of them. Many saw the conversion as a heroic act of tikkun, or repair, and followed their messiah’s lead by outwardly becoming Muslims while secretly maintaining their messianic Jewish faith. They were called doenmeh, meaning “turncoats”— a pejorative term not unlike marrano (“pig.”) Among themselves, they were called ma’aminim, “believers.” Sabbateanism did not die out in 1666, or even 10 years later when Tzvi himself died. There were subsequent messiahs — largely forgotten men like Baruchiah Russo and Jacob Frank — and, as recent scholarship has shown, Sabbateanism greatly influenced the 18th-century emergence of Hasidism. And then there are the doenmeh, who live on until the present day, in secretive communities, at first primarily in Salonika and today almost entirely in present-day Turkey.

A move to tear down the Turkish home where Tzvi is said to have lived, however, may now disturb the balance the community has cultivated for centuries.

Over the years, most of the doenmeh assimilated into Islam; many more were annihilated during the Holocaust, and still more have, in modern-day Turkey, come to see their background as a curious but largely irrelevant heritage. But even those who did assimilate usually maintained some knowledge of their ancestry, and doenmeh were among the founders of the secular Turkish republic. Today, many doenmeh are among Turkey’s elite, though it is taboo to speak their names; since doenmeh are regarded as traitors by both Muslims and Jews, it is scandalous to accuse a person of being one of them, even if his or her identity is an open, unspoken secret. (Recently-deceased Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem, for example, was “outed” by several Turkish newspapers, but he denied being a Sabbatean, and Iglaz Zorlu’s best-selling 1999 memoir, “Yes, I am a Salonikan,” stirred controversy throughout the country.) But the secret is open, like the doenmeh cemeteries outside of Istanbul, with their distinctively unadorned gravestones, and the mosques where doenmeh are known to pray.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

Mexican mediocrity

A chart in the NYT graphically illustrates the mediocrity of the human capital that recent Mexican immigrants (legal and whichever illegal ones the Census Bureau could find) bring. While over 40% of recent immigrants from India have an advanced degree, only about 1% of Mexican immigrants do. Over 60% of Mexican immigrants have less than a high school diploma. While about 20% of African immigrants work in "science, engineering, technology, or health," only about 1% of Mexicans do. Almost three times the proportion of Filipino immigrants claim to speak English "very well" as do Mexican immigrants.

I'm often denounced for drawing attention to the salience of race and ethnicity to immigration policy. Under an ideal immigration system -- limited numbers of legal immigrants chosen for their high human capital rather than for family connections -- race and ethnicity would be much less relevant a question. India, for example, is not a high IQ region on the whole. If we imported millions of random Indians we would have trouble. But, because Indian immigrants tend to be selected for skills, assimilation into middle class America is less of a problem for them.

Highly skilled immigrants without extensive family connections already in the U.S. tend to blend in well to middle class suburban America. Moreover, the fat life in America can corrupt people -- look at the horrible rates of obesity and diabetes seen in many long-established Mexican-American communities, such as in South Texas. Similarly, among Hispanics, the illegitimacy and crime rates go up in subsequent generations. (For Latinos, overall, illegitimacy is about twice the Anglo white rate, and the imprisonment rate is three times as high -- and 13 times as high as the Asian-American rate.)

So, if we thought rationally about immigration, we would want to bring in people with the most human capital to start with so their descendents would be well set to withstand the morally degrading temptations of American life.

In contrast, the current system of massive illegal immigration and most legal immigration driven by "family reunification" makes race and ethnicity extremely useful predictive markers. Because we aren't choosing Mexicans, they are choosing for us, we are getting run of the mill Mexicans. Although there is a lot of hopeful chatter about how the latest Mexican illegals are going to turn into Italians Real Soon Now, that kind of talk is a lot more persuasive to members of the media elite in DC and NYC, where Mexicans are new and exotic, than in parts of the country that have had huge Hispanic presences for many generations, such the Upper Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, and Southern California. Recall Tim Russert's recent humiliation of New Mexico governor Bill Richardson for New Mexico's dismal rankings on most measures of human welfare -- and that's after 159 years of Hispanic assimilation into the U.S. Richardson didn't suddenly make New Mexico an underachiever of a state -- it's always been that way due to the human capital of the inhabitants.

No wonder Barack Obama is leading the charge against the one good thing in the Senate immigration bill -- the attempt at reforming and rationalizing the current system of legal immigration along the Canadian point-system model. His whole early career was devoted to racially divisive politics, and immigration is a good way to add to the divisions with American society. It's good for politicians, bad for Americans.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 4, 2007

A Celebrity Genome Sequencing Question

Anthropologist John Hawks reflects on reports that co-discoverer of the DNA double helix James D. Watson and gene scanning pioneer Craig Venter have both had their genomes sequenced Hawks notes the chance that Watson and/or Venter will become the default model for future genetic engineering work, potentially spreading their genes throughout humanity. I've never met either man, but I've read a lot about the personality of each, and the notion that either might impose a Genghis Khan-size footprint on humanity's genetic future is not all that reassuring.

So, which living celebrity would you nominate to provide the default template for humanity? Who would you like to see humanity become more like? He or she should be fairly old to lower the chance of a fatal congenital medical problem, but otherwise, the floor is open for nominations in the comments section.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

John Derbyshire on Immigration and self-congratulation

From NRO:

Status Striving. The exchanges about the Senate’s new immigration bill have made it plainer than ever that a big chunk of our political elites, including our president, seek to win arguments by assertions of moral status. That is, their killer argument is not: “I am right because A, B, and C. You are wrong because X, Y, and Z.” It is more like: “I am right because I am noble and have high motives. You are wrong because you are base and have low motives.”

Thus Linda Chavez telling us restrictionists that we are wrong not because we have wrongly costed the fiscal impact of mass unskilled immigration, or because assimilation of Hispanics is proceeding much better and faster than we think, or because the numbers we have researched on the dire social-statistical profiles of immigrant Hispanics are wrong, but because we hate Mexicans. Thus the president asserting that opponents of amnesty are “trying to frighten our citizens.” Thus the editors of the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages telling each other that National Review’s objections to the bill are “cultural … but they can’t say that.” (Translation: National Review hates Mexicans.)

What frightens me is the speed with which the bill’s supporters — including some of the cleverest, most accomplished, and most prominent among our journalistic and political elites — have retreated to this emotive reptilian-brain-stem stuff. It would be nice to think (as in fact a lot of my friends do think) that they have no choice, the bill being so barf-inducingly execrable that there are no rational arguments to be advanced in its favor. I don’t agree. There are arguments the bill’s supporters can bring forward. Apparently the temptation to strike moral poses and accuse the bill’s opponents of harboring sinister dark thoughts, is just irresistible.

What a sorry comment on the state of our intellectual culture. What low, shoddy stuff. Something poisonous and malodorous seems to come over people when they get infatuated with mass low-skilled immigration. Clever, bright, witty, and personable people turn to snarling and scratching. And always, always the insinuation that you are a bad person and I am your moral superior.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

June 3, 2007

Joe Strummer's Dad and the Third Man

A new biography, Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz about the lead singer and lyricist for my all time favorite rock band, the Clash, has lots of fun fact on the leftwing icon. Joe stopped brushing his teeth at around age 16, causing them to eventually fall out, which helped him sound more proletarian, more like Andy Capp's dad, and less like the public school boy he actually was.

The Clash song "Bankrobber" explained:

My daddy was a bankrobber
But he never hurt nobody
He just loved to live that way
And he loved to steal your money

Actually, Joe's father Ronald Mellor had been born in India and was a major in Britain's Indian Army during WWII. During the Cold War, he served in the Foreign Office. The future Joe Strummer (born John Mellor) grew up in Turkey, Mexico, and Malawi before being sent to boarding school in the Home Counties. Exactly what his diplomat father did at the embassies is a little vague, presumably because it was hush-hush, having to do with coded communications. Joe and his father had similar far left politics and and had similar personalities in some ways -- great talkers, angry and funny. The two weren't all that close, but Joe respected his father and Ronald was very proud of his son's success in the Clash.

One memorable detail of this endlessly detailed biography is that when Strummer's dad was stationed at the British embassy in Cairo, he lunched frequently with Graham Greene's old friend, master spy and arch-traitor Kim Philby.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

I told you so about George W. Bush

From my new VDARE.com column:

Bush Tries To Redefine Amnesty One Last Time
By Steve Sailer

Was this the straw that finally broke the camel's back?

On Tuesday, May 29, President George W. Bush declared that opponents of the Kennedy-Bush "comprehensive immigration reform" plan in the Senate "don't want to do what’s right for America," you unpatriotic curs

The response has been overwhelming, but not in the direction that the President had hoped.

White House staffers then threw fuel on the fire, telling the New York Times, that Bush "had ad-libbed the line during a passionate address on an issue he holds dear." [President’s Push on Immigration Tests G.O.P. Base, By Jim Rutenberg And Carl Hulse, June 3, 2007]

In other words: Don't blame us flacks, we didn't come up with that line. Blame our boss—he really means it. Bush is so nuts for illegal immigrants that he's out of our control.

On Friday, Bush waded back in, delivering a semi-literate defense of the Senate amnesty bill:

"I say the system isn't working because there's a lot of Americans who say that the government is not enforcing our border."

In other words: How dare those disrespectful Americans say that the government is not enforcing our border! Don't they know the government is me?

"I say the system is broken because there are people coming into America to do work that Americans are not doing."

In other words: Uh … hmmhmm … Well, I don't quite know what this means. My best guess is that the President left out a part of the sentence necessary for it to make sense.

"There are so-called innkeepers, providing substandard hovels for people who are smuggled into our country. In other words, we have got a system that is causing people—good, decent people—to be exploited."

In other words: People aren't being nice to those swell illegal immigrants and that makes me mad!


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer